Yesterday was an embarrassment to the sport of MMA. From Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie staging one of the least competitive Ultimate Kickboxing matches in recent memory to BJ Penn failing to show up at the arena to Anderson Silva repeating his completely lackluster performances from UFC's 90 and 97 the entire event made me ashamed to be a fan.
I'll start with Hughes-Gracie. This was a fight between 2 legends of the sport, the most dominating WW champ ever vs. anyone with the last name Gracie is gonna excite anyone who has an appreciation for the history of MMA. These men have amazing ground-games (Hughes with his wrestling and G&P and Gracie with his JJ skills) , unfortunately they didn't spend even one second of this fight on the ground (other than the several times Renzo was knocked down by leg kicks) , instead they just stood there exchanging crappy punches with Hughes kicking the shit out of Renzo's lead leg the entire fight. Did I mention Renzo gassed approximately halfway through the match? Between this fight and Rolles Gracie's weak showing at UFC 109 the UFC needs to think long and hard before they put anyone with the last name Gracie back inside the octagon.
Next came the LW title bout, BJ Penn vs. Frank (Frankie?) Edgar. Between the weak showing by Penn and the horrible judging (50-45 Edgar, seriously?) this whole fight was a mess. During the fight the announcers mentioned that Penn and his camp had been in Abu Dhabi for two weeks already but you sure couldn't tell from his performance. From the moment he walked out of the dressing room he didn't look like the same Penn that goes into the cage looking for blood. He just seemed completely disinterested from the start. All that being said I still think he won the fight. He landed more punches, stuffed almost every takedown attempt, and basically did whatever he wanted in there. Edgar fought a good fight and caused more damage to BJ than any other LW in recent memory and for that he should be commended but he didn't win the fight.
And finally came the debacle that was Maia-Silva. I'm not sure I can add much to everything that has already been said about this "fight", other than I hear a lot of people talking about how much Maia came forward against Silva and all I can say is coming forward does not constitute fighting. Sure, he didn't fall on his ass trying to pull guard the whole fight but he also refused to engage almost the entire time other than during the final round. Maia is almost as much to blame for the lack of fighting as Anderson is.
Overall the entire card just left a very sour taste in my mouth. The men inside the octagon yesterday showed a lack of respect for the fans, the sport, and themselves and they should be ashamed. I can't wait til May 8th when two warriors named Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua can remind everyone what it means to be a mixed martial artist.
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